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Registered Members => Book Talk => Topic started by: CC on June 11, 2014, 03:26 PM

Title: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: CC on June 11, 2014, 03:26 PM
Read any good adult summer books?

:beach  Care to recommend one or twelve?

(I like literary-ish more than chick-lit-ish, but anything good is fine).  :bicycle:

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Jeanne Ryan (Serenissima) on June 11, 2014, 03:58 PM
Here are a few:


WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE? by Maria Semple
GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn
SISTER by Rosamund Lupton
THE WRITING CLASS by Jincy Willett (and its sequel AMY FALLS DOWN)
LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: AnneB on June 11, 2014, 04:11 PM
I second The Writing Class! And add to the mix the Flavia de Luce mysteries that begin with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

The title sounds like a heartwarming Fannie Flagg book-club novel set in a heartwarming Suth'r'n town, y'all, which is why I avoided it for so long, but it's set in 1950s England and the title's from from a 17th century writer. The MC is 11 but it's being marketed as an adult series.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: C.K. on June 11, 2014, 04:20 PM
I'm going to be scribbling these down along with CC  ::-) !

A few I really liked were A Beautiful Truth by Colin McAdam (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17262756-a-beautiful-truth (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17262756-a-beautiful-truth))
Road Ends by Mary Lawson (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17620963-road-ends (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17620963-road-ends))
and Longborne by Jo Baker (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17380041-longbourn?from_search=true (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17380041-longbourn?from_search=true))
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: dinalapomy101 on June 11, 2014, 04:43 PM
Here's a few I read recently:

THE ART OF HEARING HEARTBEATS by Jan-Philipp Sendker
Julia Win graduates from law school and then her father disappears, leaving his wife, daughter, and son confused; a few years later Julia finds a clue that her father went to his home village in Burma so she travels there and meets a man who claims to know him and tells the story of his childhood that he never knew. This beautiful, literary story of a child who made the most of his poor circumstances, including blindness, and came to love a girl who could not walk is tender, readable, and passionate. The novel is published for an adult audience and has YA crossover appeal and is more about a family history of acceptance and learning to use all of one's senses than a missing man. (Other Press, 2006)

THE ART FORGER by B. A. Shapiro
Claire Roth paints high quality look alikes of the "masters'" work for Reproductions.com although she longs to overcome drama from her past and be known for her originals; she is given the chance when gallery owner Aiden Markel asks her to copy a Degas -- one known to be stolen from the unsolved 1990 Gardner Museum heist -- and in return he will show her paintings. Claire must use her "forgery" expertise and decide what to do. This adult novel is high on interest, especially the details of how a late 1800s oil painting can realistically and believably be forged. The mystery is based on the Gardner theft, and although the details are fictionalized, the book is hard to put down. A fantastic book for art and non-traditional mystery fans. (Algonquin, 2012)

I am also reading THE GOLDFINCH right now and although it is loooong and I hear it could've been cut by about 200 pages, I am enjoying it through page 300!
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: CC on June 11, 2014, 04:44 PM
Oooo -- it's like magic, this board!  :love4:

I'm writing these down now -- and off to look them up. Some I've never heard of.




(C.K. -- how awesome is your new book cover! I haven't been on the boards much, so I haven't seen it yet. Nice!  :hug.  A Beautiful Truth sounds like one a read recently -- We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.)
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Betsy on June 11, 2014, 05:47 PM
A book that's getting rave reviews that I absolutely loved is ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr. I wasn't sure it was for me, at first, but it's marvelous and I'm sure it's going to win all kinds of awards. It's literary but not in a pretentious way. I don't know how to describe the plot without making this book sound like something it isn't, so I won't. Here's the NY Times review:


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/29/books/all-the-light-we-cannot-see-by-anthony-doerr.html?_r=0
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Dianna Winget on June 11, 2014, 06:25 PM
Three intriguing books I've been touched by recently:


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Still Alice
Left Neglected


 :grin3
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: onestepp on June 11, 2014, 10:03 PM
The book  -  "An Invisible Thread"
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: onestepp on June 11, 2014, 10:15 PM
Another interesting book  -   "Playing St. Barbara" by Marina Szczepanski.  Today I met the author at the library where she talked about her book.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: C.K. on June 12, 2014, 09:19 AM
Thank you, CC! I'm so glad you like it. Do I need to put We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves on my list too? The thing I loved most about A Beautiful Truth were the chapters from the chimp's point of view ~ poor thing. Sort of reminded me of the Project Nim documentary.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Betsy on June 12, 2014, 10:49 AM
A Beautiful Truth sounds like my kind of book. Think I'll get a copy. Thanks!
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Melissa on June 12, 2014, 05:01 PM
I've been recommending While Beauty Slept (Elizabeth Blackwell) to everyone I know. It was an IndieNext pick sometime this spring (IIRC), but I picked it up in May & read in one sitting.  I don't know the author, but I've seen her listed as a debut & as "3rd book." No idea which it is, but I grabbed after bookseller recs & industry recs & thought it was wonderful.

Kirkus said good things, as did PW (http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-399-16623-5 (http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-399-16623-5)) and other places.  Here's a brief review/overview from the Book Reporter:

"WHILE BEAUTY SLEPT is an incredibly entertaining book. Blackwell does great things with the familiar fairy tale, giving its characters depth, vitality and context. Gone are the sorcery and spells, and in their place readers find the brutal truths of life led in the face of social, political, medical and emotional turmoil and uncertainty. The issue of gender and power are particularly rich, although love and marriage are the ideal outcomes, and the desire on the part of a woman for political power is understood to be corrupting. It is a novel that will appeal to many readers because of its strong writing, fascinating characters and engagement with complicated themes." ([size=78%]http://www.bookreporter.com/reviews/while-beauty-slept)[/size]

Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: C.K. on June 13, 2014, 04:39 PM
Oh, good, Betsy! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It won the Writers' Trust Fiction prize up here in November.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Stephanie J. Blake on June 15, 2014, 07:53 AM
I am reading Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall. It's a historical from a young girl's point of view. Whistling past the graveyard. That’s what Daddy called it when you did something to keep your mind off your most worstest fear. . . .

In the summer of 1963, nine-year-old Starla Claudelle runs away from her strict grandmother’s Mississippi home. Starla’s destination is Nashville, where her mother went to become a famous singer, abandoning Starla when she was three. Walking a lonely country road, Starla accepts a ride from Eula, a black woman traveling alone with a white baby. Now, on the road trip that will change her life forever, Starla sees for the first time life as it really is—as she reaches for a dream of how it could one day be.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Betsy on June 15, 2014, 09:31 AM
It will take me awhile to get to it, but it's in the queue.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: 217mom on June 15, 2014, 10:18 AM
Anything by Anne Tyler. She's light, yet substantial. Perfect summer-fare.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Betsy on June 15, 2014, 01:29 PM
I love Anne Tyler. I have one of her novels on my kindle waiting for me to get to it.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Marissa Doyle on June 15, 2014, 02:14 PM
I'll second Longbourn--it's Pride and Prejudice told from the (hypothetical) household servants' point of view, and is emphatically not a cheesy Jane Austen rehash.
 
And Mrs. Queen Takes the Train--about how Her Majesty, feeling a bit down in the dumps, somehow manages to elude security and hops the train to Scotland in an effort to cheer herself up...and how a motley assortment of her household and servants give chase to protect her from the papparazzi. It's very sweet, without ever becoming sentimental.
 
 
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Wonderview on June 16, 2014, 07:02 AM
I really enjoyed The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, as did the several friends I've loaned it to. Wow, and I see that it's been optioned to Sony pictures, so you might want to read it before it gets turned into a movie. Here's a link to a review: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/05/rosie-project-graeme-simsion-review (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/05/rosie-project-graeme-simsion-review)
I also LOVED Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, another book that I see is going to be made into a movie. When I read the last paragraph, I actually giggled and hugged the book to my chest. Here's a review: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/book-review-mr-penumbras-24hour-bookstore-by-robin-sloan-8783705.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/book-review-mr-penumbras-24hour-bookstore-by-robin-sloan-8783705.html)
 
Plus, right now I'm reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and I'm really enjoying it. (I'm a sucker for books about booksellers and book people in general) Here's a review: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/book-reviews/the-storied-life-of-aj-fikry-a-moving-little-book-that-bucks-all-the-adoption-cliches/article18586637/ (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/book-reviews/the-storied-life-of-aj-fikry-a-moving-little-book-that-bucks-all-the-adoption-cliches/article18586637/)
 
Enjoy!
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Debby G on June 16, 2014, 09:02 AM
I loved The Good House by Ann Leary. It's about an alcoholic realtor in a small Massachusetts town. It's a character-driven book, but well-paced. There's humor, romance, and heart. It's going to be a movie starring Meryl Streep.

I also loved Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, a novel about a young woman hired to take care of a quadriplegic man. It's also character-driven and well-paced and lovely. Stock up on tissues before reading.

I also second the suggestions for Gone Girl, anything by Anne Tyler, The Writing Class, and The Rosie Project.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Debby G on June 16, 2014, 09:04 AM
Incidentally, years ago I took a writing class from the author of The Writing Class, so it was particularly fun for me to read that book! She was a fantastic teacher.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Elizabeth Maginnis on June 16, 2014, 10:09 AM
I second Deena's recommendation of THE GOLDFINCH. It deserves the Pulitzer. The story moves right along despite its length, although a bit slow in parts. The protagonist's friend Boris has become one of my all-time favorite literary characters.

Happy reading!
Elizabeth
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: awful waffles on June 16, 2014, 01:44 PM
 :bbqgirl I loved Mary Roach's Stiff, and also liked Boink, and I really enjoyed her latest one, Gulp--adventures on the alimentary canal.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Marcia on June 16, 2014, 05:03 PM
I recently listened to the audio version of The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd--loved it--great writing and performing!
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Trine on July 02, 2014, 01:19 PM
I am reading The Book Thief. Cannot put it down!
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Jeanne Ryan (Serenissima) on July 02, 2014, 02:51 PM
Debby G - I am soooo envious you got to take a class with Jincy Willett.


Elizabeth - Boris became one of my favorite characters too. And Hobie, sweet Hobie.


Second the vote for A.J. Filkry and would add anything else by Gabrielle Zevin, both adult and YA.




Just started While Beauty Slept after reading about it in this thread. The voice is delicious. I've also got a reserve request in at the library for The Invention of Wings.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Betsy on July 02, 2014, 04:58 PM
I just love this thread! I downloaded another book someone mentioned a few posts back. Thanks.

But can I renew my request that people give a sentence or two about why they like the book they're recommending? Maybe a sentence about the plot at least?

Or, if you don't have time, maybe you could post a link to a review the way Wonderview did?

Thanks!
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: L Swanson on July 02, 2014, 07:21 PM
Nonfiction suggestions, all involving travel/migration. Not so much on the light side, but all are beautifully written and/or gripping:


The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir (Kao Kalia Yang)
The Language of Baklava (Diana Abu-Jaber)
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon (David Grann)
Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback (Robyn Davidson)
Enrique's Journey (Sonia Nazario)


The Writing Class looks like a fun read! I'll check it out.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: MysteryRobin on July 02, 2014, 07:54 PM
I just finished Joyland and thought it was the perfect summer read - part mystery, part ghost story, part coming of age... and it all took place during the summer at an amusement park. Really lovely!
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: anningalls on July 03, 2014, 05:35 AM
I've been reading Crewel by Gennifer Albin. I'd highly recommend it for those who like YA fantasy. It feels a bit like Hunger Games minus the gore.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: L Swanson on July 14, 2014, 03:22 AM
Thanks to Jeanne, Anne, and Debby for recommending Jincy Willett's books. I just devoured The Writing Class and Amy Falls Down and I really enjoyed both of them. Thank you!
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: LTMadison on July 14, 2014, 07:44 AM
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra which sounds dry but is a riveting account of life in war-torn Chechnya. It will not disappoint. Here is Booklist:
In this extraordinary first novel, Marra homes in on a people and a region that barely register with most Americans and, in heartrending prose, makes us feel their every misfortune. In rural Chechnya, during the second war, a small group of people struggle to survive in the bleakest of circumstances. A gifted surgeon works tirelessly in a crumbling hospital, hardening her heart so that she can perform her gruesome work. An eight-year-old girl who has already seen too much is being hunted by the government ever since the night her father was abducted by Russian soldiers. An incompetent doctor who longed to be an artist paints portraits of 41 neighbors who were killed by government forces and hangs them in the doorways and trees of his ruined village. And a lonely man, once brutally tortured, turns government informant to obtain the insulin needed by his diabetic father, who, in turn, refuses to speak to him. Marra collapses time, sliding between 1996 and 2004 while also detailing events in a future yet to arrive, giving his searing novel an eerie, prophetic aura. All of the characters are closely tied together in ways that Marra takes his time revealing, even as he beautifully renders the way we long to connect and the lengths we will go to endure
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: JFriday on July 14, 2014, 08:55 AM
I always default to Agatha Christie. I've read everything she's written at least once.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Liz on July 14, 2014, 09:43 AM
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society -- Listen to the audiobook!!!  It's a great read told in letters -- so give it a few pages to get into it and see the plot develop.

I read MOLOKA'I  by Alan Brennert = for a book group   - historical fiction

I am reading  THE ART FORGER by B.A. Shapiro - I really it so far.




Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: xiaotien on July 14, 2014, 10:41 AM
i read In the Woods recently by Tana French
and have since read all her books. i'm now reading
the last one written and published by her. she's
very literary and the genre is mystery. my favorite
is this debut.

also, if you like fantasy, N. K. Jemisin's
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is *amazing*.

if you like literary and more historical, i'd recommend
one of my favorite authors Sarah Waters (Malinda Lo
introduced me to her, and recommended this title
when i needed to work on my sexual tension for Fury
of the Phoenix). Tipping the Velvet is my absolute favorite,
though if you want more twists, Fingersmith.

i think Waters is brilliant.
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: tara-giller on July 14, 2014, 12:42 PM
This is an old one, but one I've just gotten around to... "The Handmaid's Tale," by Margaret Atwood. It's great writing now, and just as relevant now as it was 29 years ago. Also, "One Day," by David Nicholls is a great romance and "N-W" is fabulous literary fiction by Zadie Smith. Happy summer reading!
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Melody on July 14, 2014, 01:26 PM
I'm going to go with Betsy and 217 Mom and say anything by Anne Tyler. I wish I had some newer suggestions. Unfortunately, I do tend to love my chick-lit.  ;)
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: dewsanddamps on July 14, 2014, 01:34 PM
I've been avoiding this thread because I thought it would add to my mountainous TBR pile, and it has. But that's a good thing.  :thankyou

I'm enjoying Nicholson Baker's The Anthologist, about a guy trying to write the introduction to his poetry anthology. He's a might quirky and procrastinates a lot--nothing anyone around here would identify with.  :crazy
Title: Re: adult summer read suggestions?
Post by: Casey Lyall on July 14, 2014, 04:10 PM
I second the vote for Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series. Each one is better than the last. Great mysteries with really intriguing characters. It helps that they have funny moments too.

Speaking of funny, I also second the vote for Mary Roach. I'm not a huge non-fiction person but she can make any topic awesome. And I mean any topic.

I'm right in the middle of The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine. So far, it's fabulous. Based on the Twelve Dancing Princesses, it's beautifully written and a page turner.